Friday, December 31, 2021

Omori Historic Preservation District


Omori is a small village that was the administrative centre for the Iwami Ginzan silver mine, and is therefore a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, before it became a World Heritage site it was a Historic Preservation District. Actually the correct designation is "Groups of  Traditional Buildings", but I prefer to use the former.

Before it became a World Heritage site I spent a lot of time in Omori, but since its UNESCO listing I rarely go back anymore, but when I do I am increasingly impressed.

The best thing they did was remove all the goddam ugly power lines and cables, and combined with banning motor vehicles, it makes it a far more pleasant experience. It also helps that Omori is rarely crowded.

I've visited dozens and dozens of these preservation district throughout western Japan, and Omori is one of the best. For a start it is one of the biggest,.... some of them are really quite small.

Secondly there is quite a range of buildings in terms of size and style.

Some of the preservation districts in touristy areas have become quite gentrified and are occupied by cafes and restauraans and such, and in other areas, notable remote, rural sites, most of the historic buildings are empty and uninhabited.

Omori strikes a good balance between these two.

Finally, they continue to restore buildings in Omori.

So far I have not osted anything on many of the preservation districts I have explored, but a few can be found by clicking this link.


  1. such a wonderful area !!
    Thanks for visiting!!
    and a happy New Year !

  2. Happy to hear that the town has kept its charm. I used to go often, but not since the UNESCOcide. Bizarrely, I helped with the English translation for the bid. (Although I was against it myself. Filthy lucre.) Most of the locals I talked to were against it as well, feeling that they'd done a pretty good job of looking after the places themselves. But the idea was pushed by a wealthy businessman. Filthy lucre.

  3. Oh! So what exactly does unesco do when it “declares” a sight?